Electric Book Works Web, mobile and print publications

Preparing to prepare InDesign documents

Before you start, look through the book you’re about to work on. You are probably going to be changing or deciding about:

  • how the book is made up (e.g. you’ll break up long documents into shorter ones, and gather them in an InDesign Book)
  • the fonts
  • the spacing before and after paragraph styles
  • the colours of fonts
  • how text in frames is threaded
  • master pages
  • images that need anchoring.

If you’re only using InDesign to create an epub ebook (not a print book), you do NOT need:

  • running headers/footers and page numbers on master pages
  • to specify margins or page size.

These two things will be discarded in the export-to-epub process.

Once you’ve set up your InDesign document properly, you can export to epub. Note that in InDesign you export to epub using “Export to Digital Editions…” Adobe refers to epub as “Digital Editions”, conflating the epub file format with their own epub-reading software Adobe Digital Editions.

Note: We’re assuming for the most part here that you’re using InDesign CS4. If you’re using CS3, the epub export is very buggy, and you’ll need to do a lot more to the epub files after export in order to create working epubs, let alone good-looking ones.

Arthur Attwell 17 February 2010
This information is more than two years old, and may no longer be accurate. Contact us to check, or log an issue on GitHub.